Monday, September 04, 2006

Godzilla Invades Staten Island, Participates In BP Session

STATEN ISLAND, NY -Godzilla invaded Staten Island. Well not literally. But rehabbing Yankee left fielder Hideki Matsui took part in a full batting practice session with the Baby Bombers at Richmond County Ball Park on Labor Day.

Due to his early arrival, gates opened at a special time of 3 PM for any fan who purchased a ticket to take in Matsui's hacks along with the rest of the McNamara Division-leading Staten Island Yankees, who later went on to edge Oneonta 3-2 to improve to 43-28.

The two-time All Star has been out since May 11 with a broken left wrist, which was suffered on an attempted diving catch against Boston. Before the injury, the 32 year-old Japanese star hadn't missed a game with the Yankees in three-plus years and had produced three consecutive 100 RBI seasons- becoming a reliable offense source.

Attempting to comeback from a serious injury, Matsui swung the bat well in the cage and took his first big step back.

"I felt fine. I hit pretty well," Matsui said at a conference call before about 20 reporters including a vast majority from back home who follow him all year long.

In particular, he was impressed with the ballpark's surroundings along with the spectators who came out to check out the slugger's BP.

"I'm very happy. It's a nice ballpark. Great view. And fans also came early to watch me. It was nice."

As for where he felt he was after his first session, Matsui definitely felt optimistic about getting close to finally returning in Pinstripes after a three and a half layoff.

"I wouldn't say it's perfect but I think I'm getting there little by little working my way up there."

Matsui is scheduled to take part in another BP session Tuesday in St. George before joining Double A Trenton Wednesday for a playoff game.

If all continues to go well, he should be back in the Bronx soon.


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